Rare chance to win a unique fire helmet at charity art exhibition and auction


Release date: 11 April 2024

Decommissioned fire helmets will be seen in a whole new light next week when West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service pulls up the curtain on its Ashes to Art exhibition at Worthing Town Hall.

Attendees can view each piece of art up close and place a bid to win their favourite concept via the online auction which is being hosted on People Fundraising.

The Ashes to Art exhibition is taking place at Worthing Town Hall between Tuesday 16 April and Friday 19 April. The Town Hall is open to visitors between 9am and 5pm.

The event comes after artists were encouraged to submit design concepts to show how they would use a decommissioned fire helmet as a canvas. In total over 60 designs were submitted.

The successful local artists have since been working hard to transform the treasured fire helmets into unique works of art to raise money for The Fire Fighters Charity.

The helmets have all been used by operational firefighters and decommissioned from active service. Some have been personally donated by staff, while the majority were donated to the cause by the humanitarian aid charity Operation Florian. The charity delivers aid and equipment to fire services overseas, most recently to firefighters on the frontline in Ukraine. You can read more about Operation Florian on their website.

One of the helmets includes our Assistant Chief Fire Officer's old fire helmet from his previous service, London Fire Brigade. Over the years he wore the helmet when attending notable incidents, including the Croydon tram derailment in 2016 and the 2017 London Bridge attack.

Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Mark Andrews, said: “I am hugely excited to be hosting this art exhibition to raise money for a brilliant charity that does exceptional work in looking after fire and rescue service staff and their families, from offering rehabilitation from physical injuries to supporting those facing psychological challenges.

“The charity has three sites, including one here in West Sussex, which brings the cause even closer to our hearts.

“We anticipate this will be the only art exhibition West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service will hold, so to say this is a rare opportunity to buy an exclusive piece of art is an understatement.”

Louise Furneaux, Community Fundraiser at The Fire Fighters Charity, added: “I’m incredibly excited about this exhibition and want to thank everyone involved for putting in so much hard work - I know the finished designs will speak for themselves.

“Events like this make such a difference to the support we offer thousands of individuals in our fire services community every year. Once again, a huge thank you to everyone involved.” 

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